MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama’s holiday season just got a little brighter, as Gov. Kay Ivey kicked off the annual Christmas tree lighting at the Capitol Friday night.

The Eastern Red Cedar is the largest displayed Christmas tree of Ivey’s administration, standing 40 feet tall.

Ivey and a handful of children onstage counted down from 10 before the tree was aglow, adorned with 38,000 lights, 67 stars representing each county and handmade ornaments from the Garden Club of Alabama.

Tonight’s theme: “Every Light a Prayer for Peace” — a ceremony that’s honored servicemembers over the years.

“The ceremony was to have a Christmas tree covered in lights and that every light on the tree was to signify our honoring the soldiers who served or are serving or have given their lives in service,” LaMar Merrill with the Garden Club of Alabama said.

The ceremony began with music from the 151st Army National Guard Band. Gov. Ivey gave remarks alongside Santa Claus right before the lighting.

“May you and your families stay safe and receive many blessings this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may God continue to bless each of you and the great state of Alabama,” Ivey said.

The tree was delivered and decorated by the Alabama Department of Transportation earlier this week. It was donated by the Allen family in Fitzpatrick, Alabama.